Bradford White Corp. of Ambler, Pa., has purchased the Niles Steel Tank Co. as the first of several planned acquisitions designed to expand Bradford White's water heating product line.

Based in Niles, Mich., the new firm manufactures large-volume storage tanks and is able to build tanks up to 11 feet in diameter. It will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Bradford White, and will be brought in line with the company's primary manufacturing operation in Middleville, Mich.

Leonard F. Rzepczynski, a Bradford White vice president and 21-year veteran of the firm, has been appointed general manager of the new subsidiary.

"It is a good first move in our strategic plan to broaden our approach to the wholesale marketplace," said A. Robert Carnevale, President and CEO of Bradford White.